13 Must-Haves for Cleft Baby’s First Year

The first year with our little one’s is usually a roller coaster for most of us. I mean am I right? Especially for a baby with cleft can be a little bit complicated and overwhelming. If you had an awesome first year good for you! I am always happy to hear someone gets a break. As for us we were lucky to have had experience by the time our 2nd cleft baby came. I was stoked to have had the experience. Here are the top products that best worked for my family and me.

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  1. BabyMoov Turbo Steam Electric Sterilizer Zen is AWESOME!!

I wish I had this with my older 2 boys. It takes the standing over a stove boiling bottles out of the equations. For babies with cleft our kinda bottles comes with valves which means MORE tiny pieces not fun and if you include all your breast pump essentials even more of a bummer. All you need to do is place your items, fill 3 oz. of water in and press the button. If you prefer a certain color there is a “Cherry” Version and a “Zen” version. Both does the same just different color. Simple as that! I don’t’ just recommend it to Cleft parents I recommend it to any parent really! There’s my next baby shower gift!

  1. Aquaphor Lip Repair

Our boys were born with a Bilateral Cleft Lip so their “Premaxilla” (middle of cleft lip) would ALWAYS get chapped. The skin would look so uncomfortable hanging so we used Aquaphor and it worked wonders for their chapped cleft. On another note, it’s an all-time fav just because. Works wonders for anyone’s lips pretty much, they also make great hand creams but that’s for another time.

  1. Toothettes

Cleaning the inside of a Cleftie can be a little tricky especially if their Palate is open. You don’t really want to be sticking your big fingers in there with a cloth. We used Toothettes for both our boys. Kaison it worked well because he was on a G-tube and he needed extra oral cleaning because he didn’t produce teeth-cleansing saliva as much normal babies would. It works best when we are trying to get near the nose area as well. All in all, it’s handy for oral cleaning.

  1. NUK Pacifier 6-18 monthsIf you are anything like us you probably tried almost every pacifier. For those who don’t know Cleft lip makes it hard to find a pacifier to fit and to stay in so that your baby can be soothed. We found that the NUK Pacifier 6-18 months works best. It’s a little wide but it helps to get it a little snugged for your little one.
  2. Amber stone Necklace

It’s more of a preference for us. I read that body heat causes the Amber stones to release succinic acid which helps with teething, anti-inflammatory and many other things. Not all moms prefer it, but it worked for us. Especially during teething time. We bought Kylan’s necklace here in the islands because I didn’t want to wait on shipping. But you can find them on Amazon.


6.   NoseFrida is a miracle worker

After the lip repair, it makes it difficult to get boogers and foo out from the nose. We tried the baby aspirator but it did not do any justice. So, my mom came across Freda Nose and oh my gosh! It worked like a charm. It was such a big help after feeding because our poor little guys nose would get so plugged up. You can find them on Amazon or Target

7.  Bio Oil

I love love it Bio oil! It’s great for stretch marks and scars. We use it on our boys all the time. It was first used for their lip after the Lip repair. Their scar site looks amazing. Nowadays we been using it on their legs, arms everywhere because you know boys will be boys. My boys seem to get cut up every day with all their running and jumping around (including the baby). We usually get it from our CVS but here’s a quick link for you folks. You can get it from Target also (its a little cheaper than Amazon).

8. Baby Sun screen

We used for their lip as well. Our doctor recommended it to help with scaring. Since we live in the islands we use it so the scars don’t come out dark from sun exposure. We got one from our CVS here as well, but I was able to find the exact one on Amazon as well.

9. Food Feeder Pacifier

Our Occupational Therapist recommended this and I am glad she did. It helps to exercise the upper lip so that the little one can gain more lip control. I highly recommend it, it will help a lot. I prefer the “Baby Fruit Feeder Pacifier” on Amazon over others because one it’s silicone and two it has more holes so that the food can come out easier. It’ll encourage the little ones to continue to work their mouths.

10.  Vibrating Massaging Teether

Any vibrating teething toy would do the job. It is best to introduce the vibrating toy before the Palate repair to stimulate the inside of their mouths. They could become hypersensitive after surgery, and that can lead to difficulty eating as well. I should add it’s great for teething as well! We were given the First Years Massaging Action Teether by Kylan’s therapist and I tried looking for another one but no luck. I was happy to find it on Amazon also the link should take you right to it.

11. Carnation Breakfast Essentials

After Cleft Palate repair, there is a lot of feeding restrictions for a while. With our boys, they lost weight. When the doctor gave us the okay to give them milk we started mixing “Quick mix” into their drinks and they picked up weight in no time. I highly suggest this especially if your little one is having difficulty eating.You can find them at a Walmart or a grocery store. They have a Vanilla and Chocolate flavor. My boys prefer Vanilla flavor, and they love it.


12. Thick-it Powder

If you are finding your little one coughing a lot during a bottle feed. Thick-it Powder can help add a thick consistency to make it easier to swallow. We used this a lot with Kaison while he was on the G-tube we’d do little feeding sessions with Thick it and helped him not to aspirate. You can find this item pretty anywhere, Walmart, CVS and I believe any grocery store also.

13. Nose Cup

Our doctors wanted our boys off the bottle before the palate repair because suction would only open the stitches. They said sippy cup would be good, but an open cup would be better. OT helped us practice with a Nose cup. These Nose cup’s comes in a 3-pack with 3 different sizes.

Well there you have it the top products that helped us survive “The First year.” Not all products are for Cleft babies they work great with other babies as well. Let me know if you have any questions or even what your tips are on surviving the first year. I’d love to hear all about it. Till then…

Keep smiling & have a blessed day!!

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